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Americas Newsroom

News/Business. Bill Hemmer, Martha MacCallum. News coverage and discussion. New.

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West Virginia 31, Us 24, America 17, Virginia 16, U.s. 15, United States 8, Martha 8, Plavix 7, Joe Manchin 7, Ben Nelson 5, Baghdad 5, Massachusetts 5, Steve Centanni 4, Massey 4, Cargill 4, Washington 4, Nebraska 4, Pentagon 3, Bill Hemmer 3, Bush 3,
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  FOX News    Americas Newsroom    News/Business. Bill Hemmer, Martha  
   MacCallum. News coverage and discussion. New.  

    April 6, 2010
    9:00 - 10:59am EDT  

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>> gretchen: log on to www.foxandfriends.com for our after the show show. >> steve: see you tomorrow. same time, same channel. an update on the tragic mine explosion in west virginia, the deadliest u.s. mining disaster in 26 years, 25 miners dead, four still missing, screen left, you see the microphones set up for the morning briefing, we expect that within the hour, good morning, everybody, that's where we start, i'm bill hemmer, welcome to "america's newsroom" and welcome back to martha. martha: good morning to you, good morning, everybody, i'm martha maccallum and this massive explosion ripping through what is known as the upper big branch mine and it happened during a shift change yesterday. we're just learning that this mine had six violations , dealing with ventilation issues alone, just this year. that is since january. last year, the mine faced 48 what are called unwarrantable failure orders which are considered quite
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serious. among the dead in yesterday's blast, and we're learning all of these individual stories now as it comes to light, in one situation, three members of the same family, an uncle and two of his nephews who were all working together were found in close proximity inside this mine and today you've got all of the reaction of friends and family. >> we really just came to pray, because we don't have immediate family in the mines, but we know so many people that work here, our pastor works at this mine. >> i just started getting the phone calls, they asked me if kendall was working in the day or evening. obviously, when i told him evening, they told me there had been an explosion. >> all we can do right now as a community is come together and pray because if you're from here, we're all coal miner families, my dad was a minor, my grandpa, my brother, my uncle works in
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the mine. not this one but it doesn't matter because we're family. we're praying for the families and the miners. bill: four are missing and folks holding out hopes they will be found alive. steve centanni leads our coverage in west virginia. steve, what are you learning this morning there? >> well, the most heartbreaking part of the story is of course the families, as you just heard. we talked to several of them just a few minute the ago, one woman whose father was in the mine for many years, was just about to retire, would have reached retirement age in a matter of months and was looking forward to traveling, another woman whose brother was in the mine and still hasn't heard from the mine company, massey energy corporation. a couple of the family members saying they were not notified one way or the other about the fate of their loved ones, and they're still waiting to hear. that could be because of the confusion about which four people might still be alive. there are four people unaccounted for, 25 confirmed dead, but four people unaccounted for, which could mean they're
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still alive, which could be the reason that the coal company has not notified some of the families definitively. but there is this shred of hope. some of the families hoping some of their loved ones found safe ref iewmgs inside the mine, what are called rescue chambers where they can go and hide and have fresh air, where they can have fresh food and water up to 96 hours. they may have taken refuge in there but we won't know until they clear the air inside the mine because the huge methane explosion left toxic air, toxic gases inside the mine shafts so they're going to have to drill holes into the top, from the top of the mountain, down in, to free all that toxic air, so that rescue crews can go back in and determine the actual situation. bill: steve, given that gas exonent that's still inside that mine, is there any activity inside that chamber now? >> reporter: no, not at this moment. the rescue crews have pulled back, they were in there overnight, they did rehe
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retrieve some of the bodies, they definitely reef treefd -- refreefd and -- retrieved and identified one bodies. they weren't able to finish the job because of that toxic air. that's the job that remains to be done, drilling the holes in and letting the gas escape is going to take time, possibly tonight, possibly sometime tomorrow. it's a long and tedious process. bill: the location where you are, is that the central meeting point, is that where families come, is that where the governor is? >> reporter: right, the governor has been giving briefings here all night long. we've heard from him several times. the families are being kept at a training center on mine property. we haven't seen too much of them but several came down here a while ago. so this is the center of activity for the media, the actual accident happened in the mountains not far away from here, just down the road, and that's where all the ambulances were seen earlier this morning as we arrived, leaving the area.
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so it's all along this river valley area. it's a huge mine complex under the mountains just to my left here. bill: and the roads wind their way through the southern hills of west virginia there. steve centanni, thank you. he's 30 miles southeast of charleston, west virginia and we see again in the mining communities, everybody is attached to this and you're going to see that story play out throughout the rest of the day here. martha: these people are so long and they have a life-long connection to this work. what do we know about this particular mine? the massey energy company started operations at what's called the upper big branch mine in 1994, about 200 people work at this mine. last year it produced 1.2 million tons of coal. and what happened yesterday, of course, reminds us all just how deadly this work in the mines can be. now, this explosion is the deadliest mining disaster that we've seen in decades, but in 1984, remember, a fire broke out at an orange in orangeville, utah, 27
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miners died in that tragedy, and in this case, if the four who are not yet found are added to that number, it's going to make this the worst incident since the 1970 explosion that killed 38 people in kentucky. it is tough, tough work. bill: we're awaiting a few things this hour. we'll get a press conference we believe at 10:00 a.m. eastern time, about 54 minutes from now. that's when we'll get our best information from the officials on the scene. so wait for that at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. also we'll hear from the president a bit later this hour, we know that last night the president talked with west virginia governor joe manchon expressing condolences for the dead and the states need a lot now. when the president talks, we'll take you there to the white house a bit later this hour. much more ahead on this story. we know many of you watch online today, so keep up with the latest on this trandy, head to our web suit, foxnews.com, your other source of information this hour, you'll find the latest videotape and
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headlines. you'll also see a slide show of the images taken near the scene at foxnews.com online right now. seven minutes past now. martha. martha: well, now what would have been the top story of today and is a huge story, the question of our nuclear arsenal. president obama says he wants to limit the situations in which the u.s. would use nuclear weapons. the pentagon is set to unveil a document that's going to outline our nation's plan. mike emanuel is live at the pentagon this morning. mike, what do we know, what do we expect from the obama administration today in this announcement? >> reporter: martha, we know president obama's vision is hopefully one day there will be a world without nuclear weapons, and so he is going to limit the ground rules, if you will, for the united states to use nuclear weapons. the exceptions, as you mentioned at the top, would be states like north korea and iran. that, you know, they continue to thumb their nose at the international community so you have to leave open an option of extra force for nations like those but he's trying to walk a fine line here because the united states
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has always offered protection to allies in terms of nuclear weapons, in terms of the u.s. actually being able to protect them. but he would like to limit the use of those nuclear weapons, and so we will get an announcement about noon today on the vision of the obama administration and the way forward when it comes to this nuclear posture of the country. martha: so do we expect to hear from the president himself on this? >> actual -- >> reporter: actually, no. we do expect that secretary of defense gates, admiral mike mullen, will be among the headliners here at the pentagon, also secretary of state hillary clinton will come over here. they will make opening statements about the new vision for the nuclear policy for the nation and then we expect an expert to come up about half an hour later, about 12:30 or so eastern time to explain some of the technical details of the agreement but we do not expect to hear from the president today on nuclear weapons. he's going to save that for later this week when he goes to prague to sign a treaty with the russians. martha: very important issues, how to keep our country safe, at the same
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time while you've got the growing threats out there. mike emanuel, thank you very much, always good to see you mike. bill: nine minutes past the hour. back to west virginia when wegy the headlines. the u.s.-mexico border, what about the multi billion dollar border fence meant to kept the illegals out? some say it's simply not happening. we ask why and others argue send men, not fences. also, there's this. >> she was going to go to the cotillion dance and she did have a lot of friends, she was going to have a good time, but something just got to her. martha: something got to her. freshman phoebie prince, she should have been looking forward to summer vacation at her new home with other family in massachusetts, instead she took her own life after months of starting school there, a victim, many say, of intense bullying. how you can be aware of this, how you can stay on top of this situation, where you live.
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martha: we are awaiting a news conference, we expect the president of the united states is going to make remarks later this hour as well. there are people still holding out hope, they're hoping these four miners may have found their way to safety in that mine, in what is now being called the deadliest mine explosion in 26 years in this country. family, friends, everybody in this west virginia area is on edge this morning, waiting to hear news about the four who are still missing. so far, 25 people are confirmed dead at the upper big branch mine, south of charlesston, west virginia. rescuers, not giving up, they can't get in there at captioning performed by mediacaptioning. com >> bottom line, this is a horrific explosion, 25 are
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missing, four have -- 11 have been identified, 14 have not been identified and with the four missing, you can imagine the anxiety with the 18 families that are waiting to see if there's any hope. and it's just a horrible situation. martha: governor joe manchin of west virginia has been down this road before and it could be hours before rescue teams can get in there. they're waiting for holes. they couldn't enter the area because it was so toxic and their drilling the holes, we've seen this process before, so they can allow the methane gas to ventilate, then they can get back down there but they don't think it's going to be done until later today. bill: about 1100 feet in depth, they're talking about, about a quarter of a mile. any time you're going to go into mother earth at that kind of distance, it's going to take time. martha: the eagle coal seem, the seem this mine is on, it releases 2 million cubic feet of methane gas every 24 hours. bill: whoa. martha: every 24 hours.
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as we know they've had violations there and they've had to deal with the ventilation of methane gas. bill: they're holding on to hope for randy mccoy, he was in the sago disaster four years ago, he lived after 40 hours. we're not even at the 24-hour mark now, so this is what the families are gathering, and they're praying, and asking us to extend our best thoughts to them. martha: and this gives them an hour of breatheable area, if they moved, they're hoping they can use that can to get some place, and they're hopeful maybe the other one will have somebody in it. bill: let's hope. quickly, new questions along the u.s.-mexico border, questions today about the security fence following the murder of an arizona rancher, allegedly at the hands of an illegal immigrant. critics slamming the fen and here's part of the reason why. this is the type of barrier being constructed in some areas and the department of homeland security calling it a vehicle barrier but barely high muff fromo enough from
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keeping people from crossing illegally by foot. steve camerata, at the center for immigration studies, welcome to "america's newsroom". everything i read from the people who live down there, whether politicians or many of the ranchers, some argue the fence won't do the job, anyway. but people will. they talk about border police, the national guard, horse patrols. what's your view on that? >> well, fences are helpful. it's one piece of a larger puzzle at the border. beside the things we have to do within the united states to enforce the law, the fact is a fence can make a difference. but if it's just low and people can easily climb over it, yeah, it can keep out cars but not people. the point is boots on the ground matter, a multiple fencing system, vehicle barriers, enough roads to get access. we need lots of things at the border. but we know that a fence does work. it does help. bill: boots on the ground isn't happening just yet, the governor of arizona was on our program, jan brewer,
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last week she said she's asking for federal help and awaiting a response. why when you know the department of homeland security is the former governor of arizona, janet napolitano, she asked for help in 2006 and got it from president bush. what do you make from the reaction from washington so far? >> they've actually had to abandon this idea of a virtual fence. look, everybody agrees, we need more agents. that is part of the problem. again, we have to do things in the u.s. as well, within the united states. but boots on the ground matter. but we don't want to get obsessed with just one thing. there's no silver bullet. but what we have seen in areas where there is a fence, it has significantly cut traffic. it makes it hard for someone to come in and makes it hard to get out quickly if they see an agent. bill: whether it's a fence or whether it's people down there, is it a lack of will? or is it a question of money? or is it both? >> i think it's a lot of things. yeah, i mean, look, we know once you get past the fence
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you can get a job here with relateive ease. we're going to get a lot of people trying. that's the problem, the julg willingness to take care of that end of thing. at the border, yeah, most of the border still has no barrier or fence and this represents a policy choice through successive administrations that have really not done what it takes to secure the border. bill: still open for hundreds of miles along that 2000-mile stretch. >> that's right. bill: one point. we had an expert from washington on yesterday, he says if american people don't wake up to the issue along the border very soon, all that border violence that's happening south in mexico is coming our way. >> look, that is another thing, not just drugs, not just illegal immigrants but yeah, it's very possible that this violence will spill over and we really have only ourselves to blame, because we didn't take control of the border. bill: steven camerata, thank you. we're reaching out to the governor of arizona and new mexico and texas every day to try to get a handle on this for what is the mawlt lot best solution. thank you.
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our viewers at home, you got a question about it, hemmer, foxnews.com or follow me on twitter, at bill hemmer, we'll take your questions, line is open right now, because you asked, bya. martha. martha: coming up, 15-year-old peebie -- phoebie prince took her own life earlier this year. here is the big twist in this case. several of her classmates are being arraigned, starting today, for causing her suicide. that is what makes this bullying case different, folks. a lot of people believe that the arraignments and the charges need to go even further. but nine students will be arraigned. we're live from massachusetts, in minutes. >> also this morning, awaiting a news conference in mount coal, west virginia, we do expect to get updated information for you on the seven for the remaining four missing miners, that just straight ahead.
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bill: horrific violence today overseas where the news is breaking out of baghdad that city shattered by multiple deadly bombings, a massive explosion reducing an apartment building to rubble, 39 now reported dead, more than 100 wounded. minutes later yet another bomb destroy ago downtown restaurant, those blasts, the latest in a wave of attacks killing more than 100 across the country since last week. violence spikeing in iraq after march elections did not produce a governing majority. iraq's political parties trying to form a coalition government amidst the violence. twenty-three past. martha: there are some new and significant developments today in the massachusetts bullying case. three teenagers, there are nine in all, but three of them face arraignment today, and they're being charged in what prosecutors are calling unrelenting bullying of 15-year-old phoebie prince, whose picture you see behind
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me. she took her life in january of this year and molly line has been covering this case for us in north hampton, massachusetts. molly, we're now learning these three teenagers, two of whom are charged with statutory rape of phoebie prince, actually will not have to appear in court themselves today? >> reporter: that's right. their lawyers have filed some paperwork, essentially waiving their initial appearance. that has been accepted by the court, so they will not be here. instead, their counsel will represent them. they are shawn mulville, a 17-year-old, a popular football player, charged with criminal harassment, as well as statutory rape, that's a very serious charge, could carry life in prison, as well as being forced to register as a sex offenders, austin renault, also facing statutory rape charges, and the first of seven girls involved in this case, kayla nairy, 17-year-old of south hadley will be arraigned on criminal harassment charges and charges of violation of civil rights. on thursday, three more girls, all 16, from south
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hadley will also be arraigned, they will be arraigned in juvenile court and there are an additional three girls charged as delinquents that are going to be pat of this court system. it may be a long road to trial but things are underway in court today. martha: i'm so struck by the pictures and faces of these kids. they look like nice kids, they look like they could go to any high school across this country, and what a devastating event for this small town, this suicide of this young girl and now all of these people, facing criminal charges. >> reporter: certainly. and under international eyes there are media from around the world that are interested in this case and with bullying in general, that has put this small town at the center, at the forefront of bullying across america that, entire topic, it's caused a lot of division in the town, as some people have felt the charges haven't gone far enough, some parents calling for school personnel, for administrators, to step down. here's luke galinas, one of those parents. >> this has been extremely hard for us, extremely hard,
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for a lack of quick and decisive leadership. people have become polarized. people have built relationships. we're a small community. sure, there are a lot of people who like the principal, he's a great guy, so is our superintendent. i like them as people. but not as administrators. >> reporter: the district attorney in announcing her charges said that the school will not face charges, though she finds the actions or inactions of school personnel to be troublesome, but at this point, no charges will face the school the school superintendentsy in reality the school personnel does not -- did not know about phoebie's bullying until january. two very different stories from school personnel and coming from the district attorney's office. martha: it's a tragic story and it is far from over. molly, thank you very much, we're going to have more on this in the next hour. molly line. bill: martha, we're awaiting news out of the white house, the president set to announce major revisions on
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the nuclear weapons policy. will it keep the u.s. safe, among increasing threats from overseas? and the president will make his first public comments on the tramdy out of west virginia. that is only minutes away. as we wait for new -- new details from safety officials and rescue crews in -- rescue crews in that mining tragedy, we'll take you back to west virginia, right after this break. blorchg blorchg bill:
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9:30 here in new york, it is also 9:30 in west virginia. in a moment president obama will make his first public statement on the tragedy mine blast, also waiting for officials of safety, 29 miners dead, crews are calling off the search in the mine, citing high levels of methane gas. here's a timeline so far. the blast first reported, 3:00 eastern time yesterday, at the upper big branch mine. earlier this morning, a search was temporarily called off due to unsafe
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methane levels inside that mine. at 2:00 a.m. eastern time, it was announced 25 miners are killed in that blast. holding on to hope at the moment for the other four. martha: meanwhile we want to give you a little perspective on just how important the mining industry is in america. let's break it down for you. nearly 400,000 people work directly in the u.s. mining industry and in fact, half of all of our electricity is generated from coal. there are approximately 1100 manufacturing facilities using coal around the united states, and joining me now is bruce wattsman, a mine safety expert. bruce, thank you, it's good to have you with us this morning. >> good morning, thank you. martha: obviously, this is a huge tragedy, and you look at the faces and you listen to the comments from these people, this is their whole life, and it is their whole working environment, and they all stick together. talk to us a little about what you think happened down there. >> well, it's difficult to ascertain what happened at
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this point. it was a tragic event, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and all those that are affected by this. following an event like this, federal and state officials will undertake an exhaustive investigation so that we can get to the root cause of this and put in preventative steps to prevent this from happening again in the future at another mine. martha: you know, what we're learning about it, everything appears to be pointing towards a methane gas explosion. would you say that's a safe assumption, that it appears to be pointing towards that? >> well t. appears to be pointing towards that. the other potential cause is a pull dust ignition. when there's an explosion, those are the two most likely causes. martha: and there have been six -- you hate to sort of -- everybody looks at the violations, and there's been a lot of them, and i listened to another mine safety expert a little while ago, and she said clearly, massey overall has done a good job, they won a couple
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of awards for improving safety conditions and most of their places are very safe, but that this place, she said, has raised a lot of concerns for some time, in fact, they had six ventilation-oriented violations just since january. >> well, that's correct. and i think your previous interview was correct, the company has made significant advances in terms of safety. they've won numerous awards, at the federal and state level. each of these will be looked at individually and as part of the investigation to see what role those may or may not have played in the events that occurred yesterday. but right now, the focus has to be on reaching the four miners that remain underground and providing care and sustenance for the family members. martha: you're so right about that. and we know that they're trying to ventilate the area now in order to get rescue people back in there. give me a scenario where these miners may have survived. >> well, we hope that the miners have made it to the rescue chambers that have
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been introduced in the mines since 2006, following the sago mine disaster. they are located throughout the mine, they have the capability of maintaining an individual for 96 hours, they have oxygen, co2, scrubbing capability, food, water, medical supplies, and we would hope these individuals found their way and are sheltered in one of these rescue facilities. martha: that is will ever been an incident where someone was able to save their life by getting to one of these since 2006 when they were started? >> not in the u.s. mining industry. we've never had reason to call upon them, thankfully. this would be the first instance since the introduction of these where miners would have had to make their way to one of them. they've been successful in other countries, but thankfully, we've never had the need to utilize these. martha: this is on the eagle coal seem, as i mentioned before, and according to -- seam, as i mentioned before and according to the research, this is 2 million cubic feet of
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methane gas that comes into that seam every 24 hours. how does that compare to the methane gas that collects in other mining facilities? >> well, that would be considered a gassy mines, there are mines that liberate far more methane than that one and a number that liberate less than that, but there are ventilation systems in place to remove that gas from the mine. that's required by the law and regulations. so companies know how to manage the methane gas underground. martha: we're hearing owl these individual stories, and one that has surfaced is benny willingham, he was 62 years old, he was just five weeks from retiring, he was, according to the reports, about to take his wife on a cruise to celebrate his retirement, he is one of those who was lost in this mine, and his relatives were on this morning saying that nobody from massey to that point had contacted the family, and there was another family that said the same thing, nobody from massey had contacted them yet. you know, why?
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>> well, the minor have set up a process for a family liaison and i wouldn't want to ventura guess as to what communication has or has not happened. the last thing you want to do is miscommunicate -- is communicate misinformation, so i'm sure they're going through a very deliberate, detailed process before they share any information. if you harken back to 2006 and the misinformation that unfortunately was shared with the family members and the public at that time, what we want to prevent is an industry, and everyone involved, is to have a situation like that arise again. martha: understood. and as you say, our prayers and our thoughts are with all these families. this is a great american industry, and it has experienced a great tragedy today. thank you very much, bruce wattsman, for being with us today, thank you, sir. >> thank you. bill: husbands and fares and brothers, losing their lives in this horrific west virginia mine blast, and today, the families and friends are holding out hope for four missing miners to
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be found alive and safe. we are waiting a news conference, in about 25 minutes now, from safety officials in west virginia. we should get more information. that's what we expect, anyway. what may have caused the explosion, and also what they're trying to do in terms of drilling down through mother earth, trying to reach and release some of that gas, if that's the case, and reach some of these four miners if they are still with us. it's the worst u.s. mine disaster, going back to 1984. new details on the search for the missing miners is coming in a matter of moments here, so we're standing by for news as of west virginia as you are, too. we know many of you are on your laptops, your blackberries, while you watch the newsroom. the late latest facts on this incident at fox news.cole, click on raw data, pass deadly mining incidents and take a look at the information as it comes in online on real time. fox news is there for you. march minister this is the other big story today, folks, we are changing the nuclear game in this
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country. the president is set to announce some very big changes to the united states nuclear weapons program. what that will mean for our country and for all of us as we cut back the arsenal and have more strict rules about when america could employ that nuclear technology. what it means for our security. bill: and just one day ago, this is the story of the country, tiger woods is back. what he said and did not say in his first news conference in months. taking questions from the media. >> i'm trying as hard as i possibly can, each and every day, to get my life better, and better, and stronger, and if i win champions along the way, so be it. but along the way, i want to help more people that are -- haven't quite learned how to help themselves, just like i was.
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martha: we've got a lot coming up in the next few minutes.
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we are awaiting to hear from president obama, he's going to speak on the mine explosion in west virginia, we're also expecting another news conference from mining safety officials on the ground there in west virginia. we'll get the latest on when they expect to start getting back in there, in the rescue effort. now that, is a look at montcoal, west virginia, where we're going to take you minutes from now. last night, president obama called the governor of west virginia to express his condolences for those who were lost in this mining explosion. we'll be watching this, we'll take you live to the white house as well, as soon as that gets underway, both of those. bill: also martha, as we mentioned a bit earlier this morning, president obama says he wants to limit the situations in which the united states would use nuclear weapons. and is now prepared to announce a new nuclear weapons policy. will his plan keep america safe in the face of growing threats overseas? guardian change is my guest in new york city, gordon is the author of "nuclear
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showdown, north korea takes on the world". good morning to you. his policy will say what in simple terms? >> what he's going to do is saying the united states should not develop a new generation of nuke and should only use nucleolar weapons in limited circumstances. this is a departure from prior administrations. bill: dramatic departure? >> dramatic departure. what he's really doing is he's saying we need to set an example for the rest of the world. the problem is the rest of the world is ramping up their arsenals, they're modernizing their nucleolar weapons, so we could end up in a sort of a period -- or a situation of strategic inferiority because everyone else is improving and we're not doing anything. bill: you're saying okay, he's going to say lead by example but your question is who's following. >> exactly. bill: i think many are asking the same thing, who is following our example. if anyone. >> well, the russians in december said they were going to modernize their nucleolar weapons and their launchers, china has been building up its arsenal. it's only the actual major power at this moment adding
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nucleolar weapons. bill: the chinese are. >> the chinese are. and thursday president obama is going to sign a strategic arms deal with the russians where we're going to accept parity with them but the russians and chinese do cooperate. they say they're strategic partners. so we're going to end up in a period where basically our adversaries are going to have many or -- >> bill: wait a minute, let me get this right. we're going to sign on this deal on thursday with prague with the russians, in the meantime, russians are still continuing their development with the chinese? >> well -- >> bill: how do we check that if that's the case? >> what we're doing is to say well, we're going to set an example and the russians and chinese should follow, and you know, in a sense, you can say that's a good plan, but you got to make sure that the chinese and the russians actually follow it, and right -- right now, they're going in all the wrong directions. bill: so the chinese are developing new weapons, the russians are refurbishing ours, and we're putting a hold on our stuff? >> yeah, all we're going to do is what we're going to say is no new generation of nukes, what we will do is of course improve the ones we
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have because we have an old arsenal, the average age of an american nuke is 26 years and that's ancient, and what we got to do take them apart every so often and refurbish them. bill: you don't like this policy. >> i don't. bill: why not? >> what we need to do, if we have arms limitations agreements we need to have the chinese in the room, because they are going to tip the balance against us. so it's important that, yes, okay, let's have agreements, but make sure that all the parties are there. bill: three things we're leaving out on this: iran, north korea, and syria. >> you know, it's great that the president has arms control agreements and is organizing all these high-level conferences, but what he really needs to do is disarm the north koreans, stop iran's atomic ayatollahs, and end the syrian nucleolar program. bill: what's the chance of that happening? we've heard talk about it for years now. >> there's very little that's been done up to now and it's not just a democratic problem, it's also a republican problem. but the point is these are critical issues and the
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president needs to remember, first things first, disarm the rogues. bill: in a nutshell, we're going to listen to this policy in a matter of minutes and also get his first public comments about west virginia, the mining tragedy down there. the policy set to be announced, does it make us safer or weaker -- weaker in your view? >> it will make us safer only if the other big powers follow our example. if they don't, we are definitely going to be weaker and we're going to be weaker in ways that are significant, so obama has to make sure that he's got the russians and chinese on board, but unfortunately, at the present time, they are not. they're going in the opposite direction. bill: to be continued on thursday in prague. gordon, terrific guest in new york city, thank you. >> thank you. bill: time to hear from our viewers, foxnews.com, take part in our nonscientific poll, we ask is obama limiting nukes too much. you can log on, take our you decide poll, right on the home page and right now, 50,000 people have voted
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already, 91 percent agree with people like gordon change, they say limiting our options makes no sense. 13 minutes now before the hour, back over to martha. martha: all right, interesting stuff, thank you gordon and thank you bill. and there is mayhem in and around new york new york new yos square. hundreds of young people, spilling into the area early monday morning, brawling and firing guns. four people were shot during this may lay. the police arrested 33 people. new york city mayor bloomberg said the nypd did what they could under very difficult circumstances. >> there's a bunch of people that think it's cute to go out and to run around and to cause chaos, and we've loaded the area up with police, but they can't be everywhere, but we did arrest 45 people and we're not going to tolerate it. martha: victims are expected to survive. bill: in the meantime, we want to take you to the white house now. we see the president there, about to speak about the tragedy in west virginia. this was a pre-arranged event at the white house
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that dealt with an entirely different issue, but now the headlines have changed this morning. sadly, they have, for at least 25 miners in west virginia, who are now dead after this horrific explosion yesterday afternoon. 3:00 eastern time. methane gas buildup inside of this might be, this chamber, something sparked the explosion. what it is, we do not know, but we do know four miners right now are missing. and their trying to locate them. it's the first public comment we'll hear from the president. we do know he talked to the west virginia governor last night, joe manchin and that guy in that state, he comes from a family of miners and you remember the sago disaster of four years ago, this was a guy who really felt the heart beat of the people in west virginia. he's lived it himself, he knows how they feel, he knows the intense community that surrounds these miners and the dangers and the difficulties they have on the job, and joe manchin is now leading that effort in west virginia. we might see him, again, the governor that is, at the top of the hour in west virginia when the safety officials
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brief. martha: the scene at the white house is the easter prayer breakfast and that was supposed to be the focus of this event and prayer, there's a lot of that going around this morning, that's for sure, as everybody prays for the four missing miners still out there and the process of drilling the holes to release that gas and when the gas is released that will allow the very brave rescuers to get back in there and to find out what happened to the four remaining people whose whereabouts are unknown at this point and we do expect president obama will address this issue when he gets into that prayer breakfast this morning. this is a long-held tradition at the white house following the easter weekend, and you know, as you point out, joe manchin has dealt with too many of these kinds of situations. he was on vacation in florida at the time, rushed right back, which is no surprise to anybody who has watched him deal with these situations in west virginia, and he's been talking with the families. there are 18 families, really, who are either connected to a body that's not been brought out or to the four people who haven't
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been found, so they don't know which category they fall in at this moment and these are extremely excruciating times. bill: safety is always the concern. they had a record low fatalities just a year ago, and many people in the mining community of america thought they were turning a corner, they were making strides, were being successful, but this one could shoot a big hole in that theory. randall mccloy, four years ago, he was the minor pulled out alive after 40 hours of breathing this gaseous air in west virginia, that was the sago mine disaster and i remember being not only there but also the hospital, morgantown, west virginia. he was in a slight coma, and it took him a while to come out of it and he did eventually and physically, he was left with a lot more challenges, let's say, in this life but he did survive and he was able to see his wife again and his family, and so far as we can tell, the last check-in on randall, he's living a good life. so that gives the other families at this moment hope. martha: indeed it does.
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and we're watching, the door has opened here. we're inside a 2-minute warning on this. and just to mention, you know, methane gas is a naturally occurring gas on the earth. and it builds up at an extraordinary rate, in this mine alone, as our last guest said, it was known as a goody mine, there's a lot of methane, 2 million cubic feet of methane gas every 24 hours in this mine that is known as the upper big branch mine, and that is what everybody is thinking about this morning in terms of what may have caused this spark that ignited this explosion that took the lives of at least 25 people, and as we mentioned, the president did speak with the governor and has been in touch with them as they try to continue these rescue efforts in that mine, which has been difficult, given the circumstances. bill: we're watching the door at the white house, we're also watching the situation in coletown, west virginia. you take the long, windy roads in the mountains and
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hills of west virginia and you find these areas and locations where they've been mining and taking coal out of the ground for decades, and family after family, generation after generation, have taken part in that job. here's the president, comments from the white house. now here on "america's newsroom". [applause] good morning, everybody, thank you, please, have a seat. have a seat. what a great honor and pleasure it is to have all of you here today. before i begin, i want to just acknowledge two members of my cabinet who i believe are here, secretary gary locke, is that correct, where's gary, there he is, our commerce secretary. plen applause] >> and secretary janet
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napolitano, who is keeping us safe, each and every day. [applause] >> i also want to acknowledge the mount enin children's chorus. they're going to be giving us a medically. there they are. they're looking very serious. [applause] >> before i begin, i want to send my deepest condolences, our thoughts and prayers, to the families and friends of the workers who lost their lives after an explosion took place in a west virginia mine yesterday. at this moment, there are still people missing, there are rescue teams that are searching tirelessly and courageously to find them. i spoke with governor manchin of west virginia last night and told him that the federal government stands ready to offer whatever assistance is needed in this rescue effort. so i would ask for the faithful who have gathered
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here this morning, pray for the safe return of the missing, the men and women who have put their lives on the line to save them and the souls of those who have been lost in this tragic accident, may they rest in peace and may their families find comfort in the hard days ahead. one of my hopes upon taking this office was to make the white house a place where all people would feel welcome. to that end, we held a sader -- a seder here to mark the first passover, we held an iftar with muslim americans to break the daily fast during ramadan and they, i'm particularly blessed to welcome you, my brothers and sisters in christ, for this easter breakfast. with us are our christian leaders from all across america, men and women who lead small town churches and big city congregations and
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major organizations in service of others, folks whose sermons are heard and whose examples are followed by millions all across the country. soy wanted to join you -- >> bill: let me comment for a moment here, the headlines out of west virginia, 25 dead, seven bodies have been recovered, identified, 18 others have not been identified. so the family members, holding out the hope for the missing that we hope have found a place that's safe inside that mine at 1100 feet and have found air and oxygen that's good enough to breathe and keep them alive. martha: that is the hope. that's the live shot in montcoal. we wait for the latest information out of there. we do expect to get information out of that news conference and will bring that to you as soon as that comes. we expect to hear from safety officials on the investigation and the search for the men who are believed to still be trapped a mile below the earth's surface. >> all we can do right now
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and sneezing for 12 full hours with less drowsiness than benadryl. it does all that? chlor-trimeton. less drowsy relief that lasts 12 hours. >>. martha: all right, a "fox news alert." on a sad morning as we wait to hear the latest updates on the deadly blast, that happened in west virginia, in a mine there, the worst mining tragedy seen in this country in more than 25 years. and, the live shot is
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microphones and a concrete wall and that is where perhaps we'll hear the fate of the four others from montcoal, west virginia and expecting to hear from mine safety experts and the mining director and the congressman. and joe mansion, the governor, spoke to fox news a few hours ago and here's what he said. >> we have three holes need to be drilled, one is -- they are drilling one now and two others are getting set to drill and they have to go 1100 feet, through two abandoned mines and have to through pipe or casing in, a slower process and they say they don't expect to have it completed until sometime this evening, and, you cannot commence the recovery, or, the work of the search, if you will, rescue, until we know it is safe enough for the rescuers to go back in. martha: and, that is how we start on this tuesday morning, a brand new hour of "america's newsroom," welcome, everybody, i'm martha maccallum. bill: and i'm bill hemmer. good morning, president obama
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commenting moments ago on the disaster, at l 25 are dead and a frantic search for survivors entering a most critical stage now. martha: steve centanni is live near this mine in montcoal, west virginia, and joins us with the latest and what are you hearing there? >> we are expecting a briefing as you said, any time, now, and governor joe manchin is keeping -- has been keeping us apprised all night and the early morning hours and we don't think he'll be here but other officials will be to talk about the latest numbers and the progress now, the progress will be very slow, because what they are trying to do is drill some holes down from the top of the mountain down into the mine shaft where the huge methane explosion took place, yesterday afternoon. when dozens of men were inside, during a shift change, resulting in 25 deaths, and, four people, still missing. so, they are going to drill down in there, to release the methane gas that builds up there, so rescue crews can come in horizontally, through the
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regular openings into the mine, and, explore. find out where those four unaccounted-for people are and whether or not they are dead or alive and the joe man chchin sa earlier, as he said at the top of the show, they are going down deep, 1100 feet, straight down and another thing they'll need pipe casings, because there are open spaces and abandoned parts of the mine and will be slow and he said sometime tonight, 6:00 p.m. tonight, but, federal mine officials we talked to don't expect it to be done until sometime tomorrow and there are three and also one might be done before the others and the whole process could be longer than days. it could take a couple of days and that will be a very long, slow and agonizing process, at the same time, agonize for these families, who still don't know the fate of their loved ones. martha: hard to imagine what they are going through and we know that there were earlier reports, steve, that one of those chambers was found and it was empty but other safety
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chambers are down there, right? >> reporter: right, there are in various places, we believe in the area, where at least three of these four missing men were located, at the time of the explosion, that there is one of these safety chambers, as they call it. a place where the men can take refuge and hide out and go inside, it is air tight and there you have oxygen and can breathe 96 hours, you have water and food and it could save their lives. so, people are keeping that are fingers crossed, praying and hoping for the best. we really won't know, until they are able to clear the air out and send the rescue crews in to check out the situation but it is possible that those four men, could still be alive, as the governor said, these families are clinging to whatever shred of hope they have and it may be just that. but it is some hope, better than nothing. martha: we're keeping them in our prayers and thoughts, steve centanni, thank you very much. bill: we'll stay on the story a moment as we await the briefing.
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congresswoman -- a congresswoman from west virginia is joining us now, where are you. >> caller: charleton. bill: and what can you today what we are learning about rescue efforts. >> caller: i think, rescue efforts are long and difficult, and, you want to assure the safety of the rescue worker, that is important, but it is agonizing, for the families and for the community and our state, as a whole. this is a sad day for west virginia. bill: indeed, it is. a sad day for america, too, the communities really -- it breaks your heart to hear so many people who are now affected by this in your home state and across the country as we look at this. >> caller: we're all... bill: you are right. and, can you give us a sense living in that state, knowing how dangerous this job can be, and, whether or not we have enough information at the moment? to say the safety precautions were upheld, to the highest
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point of the rules in the industry? >> caller: certainly after sagano we did a lot of sole searching in terms of safety and rescue and being able to sustain miners, that may be trapped in an underground mine, and, this is something that we will really scrutinize in terms of going forward, is it enough? the communications, obviously, blew apart once the explosion occurred. and, so that is an area, i think, because if we had communications with the four trapped miners we obviously would be in a lot better position. bill: you mentioned the mine from four years ago and we found in the end the supplies were not down there. and the oxygen masks were not taken in by the miners and they didn't have a backup system. are you saying we are four years later and we have corrected that. >> caller: we have come a long way and we didn't have rescue chambers before and our great hope is certainly, those miners are in those rescue chambers but there are a lot of issues brought forward, and, what kind
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of explosion was it? what kind of monitoring was going on. and, what kind of fines have been levied, have they been paid? there is all kinds of questions that will come out of this, and, certainly, what a tragedy to lose so many people. you know, in west virginia it is hard for people who don't live here to understand how deeply we feel and how connect we'd are to our land and to our natural resources, and, every family has a connection, to someone, who is -- either has been in that mine or works around the mine or lives in that community and it is a dark day for us. bill: a dark day, as you say. if there is that much methane gas built up inside the chamber, what would spark the gas toward an explosion. >> caller: i'm not an expert in this area, certain, but my understanding is, some of the men were going in, in a -- there is electrical current that goes obviously into a mine, every day. to run the equipment and light the corridors and run everything, and i'm certain that
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if you have a high level of methane in the mine, which you shouldn't have, you know, a spark, a small spark, can cause an explosion. and the one good thing is rescuers and the m-shed and other experts are very adept at determining what has happened here. sadly, after the fact. but, you know, we'll have to wait and see where they pinpoint the explosion occurred. bill: do you think, they'll know by now or have a pretty good handle on that. >> caller: they probably know because of the location of where the men were when they were going in. bill: part of reason i ask is, you have a record low for deaths a year ago, coal mining across the country. 34 fatalities, resulted in 2009, but, that was down apparently, considerably from previous years. and, many thought you were turning the corner when it comes to coal mining safety. and, today's tragedy blows a hole right through that thought. >> caller: it seriously does and
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it sinks a lot of the optimism, that -- the corrections we made through federal and state law in 2006, were enough, that the monitoring systems were there i think we need to really dig deep here, and find out what/occurred in this situation, to make sure it different occur again. but, it is, you know, hard to speculate until we actually get the facts. bill: thank you, for your time. our best to you and the people you serve there in west virginia. >> caller: thank you. bill: going through a trying time. thank you, 7 minutes past the hour, martha has a bit more. martha: we're go to get a news conference and take you there live when it gets under way and coal mining is a huge part of west virginia economy but the whole country's economy as well, and coal accounts for 32%, roughly a third of our total u.s. energy production. and, west virginia is the second very proud largest producer in the country, there are more than 300 underground mines in that state and mines just like the one at upper big branch that
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collapsed yesterday. statewide, the industry employs more than 46,000 people. and, how about this: in another mining story, from china. they are calling this a miracle. we're learning new details, how 115 miners survived for eight days, trapped in a flooded mine shaft, they ate coal and saw dust and drank contaminated water, and that was enough to keep them going. because they had access to an air pocket, some of them used their belts to tie themselves to the wall of the mine, a tactic we have seen used before, that has managed to save some people and that is done to avoid drowning while they rested and the rescue teams are until still trying to reach dozens more trapped in the mine in china, five bodies were pulled from that mine. yesterday. bill: we will not leave the latest out of west virginia,
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back there when we get headlines and the briefing begins, we expect it in a moment here, and politics, the location of 2012, how big a role will this tea party movement play, the polling results tell us an interesting story. where better to start than iowa. steve brown is in bentondorf, and what are iowans saying about the tea party movement. >> reporter: as you know there is a full spectrum of political activity here in the state of iowa because it is the first stop on the presidential hurdle list to get to the white house. and, given the rapid development, of tea party organizers of the movement here in iowa, they believe they will be heard from. >> looking back at where we were a year ago today and where we are today and where we'll be, say, in six months, we will have a dramatic effect on the caucuses. as well as the general election. >> reporter: what is difficult to gauge, even from veteran political observers here in iowa
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is how much impact it will have, again, this is a state that has a lot of political activity. it is part of the nature of being and i want, bill. bill: part of the nature, politically active to say the least. can the tea party folks make a difference in their view? >> reporter: they believe they can, and, there is good reason to think they could influence, certainly, elections and caucus outcomes, and here's largely why. in the republican caucuses, they don't go to different precincts, basically, it is and at-large sort of plus and minus, you have the bodies or you don't and you don't need bodies at every, particular place and you can have an impact, particularly if you have a broad field and if you think most tea party folks might be inclined to vote republican and there will be a substantial field of candidates in 2012 looking for the nomination small margins can make a pretty big difference. bill: and in bet endorf, that is
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the mighty mist behind you, am i right. >> reporter: you're right. martha: we are getting information the press conference out of west virginia will happen at 11:30 and we'll bring you that when that gets under way and in the meantime, today is a big day in a case we have been following closely on "america's newsroom," there are three arraignments for teenagers who are facing criminal charges, in the death of this young 15-year-old girl. a massachusetts high school student, phoebe prince, took her own life and prosecutors say that she was driven to that, by revueless bullying. from several classmates, nine classmates in an unprecedented move are charged in connection with her death and we'll talk about how you can try to prevent any tragedy from happening where you live. bill: on a lighter note, think spring has sprung, do you? think again, this is winter, the sequel! after the break. martha: oh, no! >> he's a world war ii veteran and purple heart recipient and
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teenagers charged in the brutal bullying of a 15-year-old girl set to be ariraigned today, the beginning of the legal process in the case we have been following in "america's newsroom," this is phoebe prince, you probably know her face by now and she hanged herself in the closet after what prosecutors call unrelenting bullying treatment by nine teenagers, including the ones that you see here. who are not minors, they are facing charges ranging from statutory rape, in the case of the two boys, that you see, at the top there, also, stalking and civil rights violation with bodily harm and are not obligated to attend today's hearing. there is another hearing on thursday, and they have opted to
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waive those court appearances, at the suggestion of their attorney, one of the accused is this young man, 17-year-old sean mulvey hill, and he was also phoebe prince's former boyfriend and many believe this started it, and he was the captain of the football team and took a liking to her and she like him and it set off unhappiness among the girls at the school, according to local reports from the newspapers in the area and this is not your typical school yard bullying situation, we have seen in generations past, it is something many find scarier and a lot more disturbing on many levels, jodi joins me, the author of the best-selling book "please stop laughing at me" an anti-bullying activist. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. martha: you talk about an elite bully. what is that. >> there are popular kids in the
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school and i travel across america sharing my story and there are two kinds of kids, the elite leader is the caring, popular kid and the elite tormenter is the dangerous kid and they not only have a hold over their fellow students but a hold over the adults in the school, and the community as well. and these elite tormenters are dangerous because the teachers and parents go into self-inflicted denial, they could never be capable of this and in fact they are. martha: that is one thing i have been mentioning in this case and we don't know the facts, we are learning but it makes you wonder whether there are a group of parents, supporting these kids, and, whether these kids were shielded to a certain extent, perhaps, because they were influential in some way in the community. here's the other question, you know, we're going to stay on top of the legal side of the case and what about, you know -- i showed my daughter -- i tried to sort of say, what do you think about that? and, she said, you know, kid don't want to talk about it and
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it makes them uncomfortable and how do you prevent something like this from happening right under your nose? >> well, for one thing, kids have to be, quote, compassionate. i was bullied from 5th grade through high school and the kid no one wanted to be caught dead with for the same reason others are, simply for being different and i travel across america speaking inside schools and my primary message, that i tell kids, is, teachers have to emphasize, it is not just joking around. bullying damages you for life but, also, bullying is not just the mean things you do, it is all the nice things you never do. letting someone sit alone at lunch. never going out of your way to include that person. and, most kids think of bullying in terms of overt acts but the chronic aggressive exclusion does more damage, because it makes the victim say, there is nothing wrong with me. martha: there are adults in this story who say they didn't know what was happening and how do
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you know? what are the warning signs for parents and teachers that something deeper is going on? >> well, first of all, for teachers, if you really want to know what is going on, observe the lunch room every day. what kids sit alone? what kids sit at the end of somebody's table and pretend to do homework? what kids walk alone to class, never get spoken to? and at home, extreme makeover attempts. you know, tinexplicable signs o rage and changing in weight, those are good signs, good for you for taking your experience and travel around the country, and it's an important discussion, thanks for being here. >> thank you for welcoming me. bill: important, indeed, we are getting word out of west virginia, the news conference will be expected at 10:00 a.m. eastern time, 20 minutes ago, has been delayed to 11:30 eastern time. we don't know why. clearly, trying to get more information. we don't know if they found
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information, pabout the missing four miners and when we get the headlines, we'll have help here for you, on "america's newsroom." back in three minutes. structured settlements. the experts at imperial can convert your long-term payout into a lump sum of cash today. blend it. sprinkle it. sweet! [ female announcer ] just about anywhere you use sugar you can use splenda® no calorie sweetener. [ male announcer ] saory. fluffy. yummy. sweet! [ female announcer ] splenda®. america's favorite no calorie sweetener.
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minister saying the u.s. needs to reconsider its plan for withdrawal. meanwhile, a bloody and deadly day in baghdad, 49 dead, close to 100 injured, after a series of explosions in the capital city, ripping apart numerous apartment buildings in the capital city, dominic denatali is live with more. hello. >> reporter: bill, absolutely. let me bring you up-to-date quickly on the numbers, a revision, 45 now dead according to our minister of the interior and 145 injured, which means more than 100 people were killed in the past five days and 300 in hospitals across baghdad as a result of attacks by al qaeda. today's attacks aimed at apartment buildings in the residential area and markets as well, and, he was talking about the man who should be the next prime minister and he's saying the reason al qaeda is attacking and taking advantage of the political uncertainty is there was no overall majority amongst the parties that ran and, as you
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say, he is calling on the united states today, to suspend its withdrawal of combat troops from iraq until a new government is formed. we went to see him... >> there should be a formational government and then they should leave, but, without a government, in place, taking care of the country, that is... with there withdrawal. >> doesn't it provoke the violence, make it a self-fulfilling prophesy, when there is so much unrest. >> the process of democracy where you have a stable iraq has been hijacked and because it has been hijacked it will throw the country into violence. and, when the country is torn again to violence as before, then it will spill over to the region, and, vice-versa, problems in one region will be transferred there, also. >> reporter: the hijacking he's talking about, are the under hand efforts by his rival, the currents prime minister, nouriel al-maliki, to have many of his
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candidates would won seats actually cancelled from the vote and he's trying to convince the lower courts he's trying as hard as he can to hold on to power and that is creating a lot of doubt and discrediting, and the whole political classes that voters really don't see way out, and we're looking at potentially months before we have a new government formed here and one of the brigadier generals said baghdad and the rest of iraq is currently in the a state of war with terrorists and until we have a new government in place that has a policy, with good security, and a plan for the security forces down this line here, people will continue and be fearful for their lives going forward. back to you. bill: quickly here, what he's saying about the u.s. changing its withdrawal strategy, is that a rebuke to the white house and what has been planned on the ground in iraq for american forces? >> reporter: it certainly is a lot of pressure on the white house, the president to change his plans and he is very much committed to the date of august
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31 when all combat troops must be out of here and 48,000 of the troops must go by that date, and the iraqi forces are not capable of handling the securities entirely on their own, many officials say and while this u.s. forces san slow the withdrawal proce-- can slow the process, until there is an order from the white house, the withdrawal will continue and it will make iraqis feel nervous and very unsafe, bill. bill: an exclusive interview in baghdad, today. martha: this morning, who do americans trust when it comes to government? tough to find a group. a new poll has very surprising answers, wait until you see these new numbers, folks. fair and billionsed. >> a-- balanced. bill: and the briefing in west virginia will be delayed and the governor will be there one hour from now and we will at the fox news channel. martha: and the class of 2011 has a distinguished student in their ranks by 84-year-old jack
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slotnick decided it was time to go back to school after having served his country in the most honorable way. we will talk to him, next. a heart attack caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helps save lives. plavix, taken with other heart medicines, goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone, to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death, by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming clots. ask your doctor about plavix, protection that helps save lives. [ female announcer ] people with stomach ulcers or other conditions that cause bleeding should not use plavix. taking plavix alone or with some other medicines, including aspirin, may increase bleeding risk, so tell your doctor when planning surgery. certain genetic factors and some medicines, such as prilosec, may affect how plavix works. tell your doctor all the medicines you take, including aspirin, especially if you've had a stroke. if fever, unexplained weakness or confusion develops, tell your doctor promptly. these may be signs of ttp,
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[ male announcer ] saory. fluffy. yummy. sweet! [ female announcer ] splenda®. america's favorite no calorie sweetener. martha: we're waiting for a news conference out of west virginia and now we have word that the governor joe manchin, is going to be attending the news conference and we weren't sure about that a while ago and we'll see what he has to say and everybody wants to know what -- whether or not we have any information on those missing four that have not been accounted for yet and we'll con to keep you posted, on that. and we will bring you the latest, from this. -- from there. bill: and, the tea party movement making itself heard, in recent months, the new polling from rasmussen reports, 48% of voters questioned say the views of the average tea party member are closer to their views, while 44% agree more with president obama. and want to debate that this morning, and what to make of the
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numbers, jim saltzman, former campaign manager for mike huckabee and erika pane, and 48 to 44, tea party over president obama. >> this is a pivotal moment for the president, keep in mind the tea party started with anger against the bailout, the big bank bailout, and what is happening now, in washington, is the senate is debating how to deal with wall street and how to rein in those excesses that brought our economy to a stand still. and, president obama has been very firm that he is going to put out a lot of energy trying to pass the strong regulations, to keep the banks in check and keep them from doing this harm again, and the question is, can the tea party... bill:... whether he can get that done and you have to ask whether or not congress and the laws changed in the late 1990s will be changed also and i hear your point -- >> the tea party... turn their attention to the issue over the next six weeks. bill: that is interesting, what
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about that, chip? >> you know, bailouts, handouts and taking over a sixth of the economy with socialized medicine is not the way to get the attention of tea party folks and they are worried about big spending and massive, trillions of dollars worth of debt and worried about keeping printing money until you spend your way out of the problem and the stimulus package is predicated on government spending is the right way to go, the opposite of what tea party, good fiscal conservatives and republicans believe in and i think that is why you are seeing obama continue to fall off the radar screen and the tea partiers believe that 48% of them, anyway, would be a better choice, than president obama, based solely on his spending, and i think that is what is driving the poll numbers and what is driving down... bill: that comes down to money, scott rasmussen tells us what he found over the last year the folks don't care about democrats or republicans or independents, they care about money and federal spending, and, next poll that we got here, from rasmussen. who do you trust more? that was the question. 50% said they trust the average
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tea party member more and check that, okay, hang on, we'll see it on the screen in a moment here, 50% said the average tea party member and 38%, say president obama. and that is actually about congress, guys, and my point to you, air ka is it is about dollars. >> that is exactly what you said, it is about dollars and trust and the question is which party will you trust to spend your dollars, better and the republican party just spent $2,000, of workers' money on a bondage themed -- >> president obama spent trillions on socialized medicine. >> they bondage themed strip club. i mean, come on. >> i have to tell you, erika -- i want to get back to the whole issue, erika, and chip, and on the screen, are your views
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closer to tea party members or congress, 47 to 26 and folks don't like what is happening in washington, chip. >> it is all about spending, and about huge government programs and all about trillions of dollars of debt and like i said, obama-care, handouts an bailouts and we cannot afford this as a country and the more we continue to do this, we are not mortgaging our children and grandchildren, we are moving to our grandchildren's children to pay off the debt and people are sick of it and the tea party is a movement bond by energy and passion on fiscal responsibilities i think what we'll see is republicans, and that is what we have been talking to will support republican candidates in november because they know that is the way to get to fiscal responsibility. bill: the same group of independent, erika,ing i give you the last crack, a big group of independents are reflected in these numbers, too, if you were a democrat, how would you co-opt the voters based on what happened the last 14 months. >> you don't need to co-opt them, tell them the facts, bush was in office and spent a trillion dollars on a war we couldn't afford and close to a
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trillion dollars on a tax cut for the wealthiest americans we couldn't afford and president obama and the regulators under bush were the regulators who let wall street get out of control and brought down the economy which most economists -- >> when will you let up on president bush, at some point president obama has to take responsibility, you can't blame everything on president bush. socializing medicine... >> the biggest collapse of the economy since the great depression. so, i mean, i think he's responsible for it. >> like i said, at some point president obama has to be responsible for his own actions, he tried to socialize a 6th of the u.s. economy which will hurt it. >> watch the tea party, folks, we'll see which way they go in 7 months, erika, chip, thanks. martha. martha: harry reid defending what critics called the cornhusker kick back, remember that one? an exclusive deal in early drafts of the health care bill, for nebraska senator ben nelson,
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it granted his state, at that time, help with the federal funding for the expansion of medicare. senator reid in a somewhat fiery exchange, with greta van susteren on the record. >> i think a lot of people were disturbed about the fact on the eve of the e vote, that two senators meet and president obama promised transparency and all of a sudden, senator ben nelson walk out and suddenly says i'm going to vote on this, and, it wasn't your promise on transparency, it was the president's and i got a special deal for my state and all the other states are standing around, saying, what about us. >> do you think it would have been better i let the bill fail? >> that... i mean, i don't -- >> you are speechless. >> speechless, i don't think -- this is the way it appeared to the american people, is that this senator, senator ben nelson, was for sale. that is the way it looked like and it was a sale, the price of all the other american taxpayers
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are paying for and many people even in nebraska didn't understand, why he got this. >> greta, lete say this. i kw fox loves to be rate anything that is democratic in nature. but, let me say this: ben nelson is an honorable man, i -- really a good senator and represents his state extremely well, and, ben nelson and i worked on a number of issues, and we of course worked on the medicaid issue and the -- he understands it very well, a former governor of the state and i knew if i got this for nebraska, at the time the legislation got out of the senate i'd have it for everybody. martha: for everybody, how about that. and senator reid said the nebraska provision was made universal. for all states, in the bill that passed and all states will take advantage of federal funding and you know who winds up paying for that and basically said to the states, everybody gets the deal and the federal government will pay for expanding costs of medicaid and who pays for it, either way! either way, the u.s. taxpayers will foot the bill.
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either way. bill: and the tea party movement, that is why they had the numbers we shared from rasmussen. and, a few comfort at home on the battle feed but the big mac might go bye-bye, i say supersize it. especially there, for crying out loud. martha: well, he's got socks that are older than some of his classmates. he was fighting in world war ii, and, he is a war hero, folks. today, he rescheduled a test, because he's a freshman, at lynn university and wants to be here with us and we're looking forward to talking to jack slotnick, back to school at the age of 84. he joins us live, next. ♪ ♪
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>> i'm jane skinner along with jon scott, coming up at the top of the hour we expect to hear from the governor of west virginia who will hold a news conference on the mine disaster and the four miners still missing. we'll get the latest from him. >> when it looked like republicans were on a roll, a big shakeup at the r.n.c. what is going on, we'll tell you about it, "happening now" top of the hour. bill: jon and jane, thanks, see you in 17 minutes and the news conference will happen during "happening now" and president obama first public comments on the tragedy earlier today and here he is from the white house, expressing his condolences to the folks in west virginia. >> president barack obama: at this moment, there are still people missing. there are rescue teams, that are searching tirelessly and courageously to find them. i spoke with governor manchin, of west virginia last night and told him that the federal government stands ready to offer whatever assistance is needed in this rescue effort. so, i would ask for the faith --
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to the faithful who gathered here this morning, pray for the safe return of the missing, the men and women who put their lives on the line to save them, and the souls of those who have been lost in the tragic accident. bill: 25 dead, four missing and an update from governor joe manchin, 11:30, 45 minutes from now. martha: and we had jason goldman joining us, a member of the red cross rapid response team in west virginia, thanks for taking a few minutes away from what i know is a very busy time, for all of you. tell me, what is the red cross doing in montcoal today? what can you guys provide? >> right now, the red cross is, you know, providing a very important aspect, the mental health aspect. we have specially trained volunteers onsite, and talking to the families, shoulder to lean on and someone to talk to, sometimes, right now, you are dealing with situations, like this, that is the best thing someone can have. martha: what are the families
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saying? obviously, this is a very difficult time, but in general, what kind of things are you hearing from them about their concerns? >> well, the things we're hearing more than anything else, we are hearing that you are dealing with, you know, folks who are in shock, folks who have no reaction whatsoever, and there is anger, you know, and one thing we can really do is provide that shoulder to lean on, at this point. the point last night, red cross was giving food and water out to families and rescuers, and, right now, we are really focused on the mental aspect of the families that are in there. martha: and as we have heard all morning an know from prior situations like this, these families in many cases, generations of them, have worked in these mines. you know, are they talking about their families and how much of a role all of this, has played in their lives? >> well, you know, our hearts go out to the folks, you know, here. this is a community.
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you know, this is a community event and absolutely is taking everybody, you know, by storm, and is a terrible situation. and the folks here, they know this is their livelihood, and, a lot of sadness is going on right now, but there is still a lot of hope, we think there are four people down there, there is hope that they'll pull them out. martha: and i'm sure you are focused on that, to continue to remind them, that this is an ongoing rescue effort, as soon as they can get it restarted. >> it is a very -- very important to keep up the hope, no doubt about it. and, you know, we are waiting for the drilling to be finished, so they can start the process again, but, as we have seen in the past, miracles can happen, and there is a lot of hope still going on. martha: the family members that are there, wives, mothers, children, tell me who is gathered there, right now. >>you know, there are still family members that are there.
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that are -- some left since last night and folks are kind of waiting around to see -- get word. be in a situation where you just don't know. it is completely nerve-racking. it is maddening, it is saddening. it is every gamut of emotion you could possibly go through is going through the folks, right now. martha: thanks to you, jason, for being there and a lot of people don't know what to say to people like that. before i let you go, what do you say to people who are facing what these people are facing? >> i mean, i walk up to somebody and say, hi, my name is jason, you know, is there anything i can do for you? anything you want to talk about now? can i get you a cup of coffee, kleenex. the red cross is here for you. martha: you are doing a great job and have done it so many times and good for you, for being a part of it. so many people feel like they wish there was something they could do and you are doing it,
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jason, thank you very much for being there for those people who need it, so greatly, at this time. thank you, sir. bill: he said he learned a lot t -- they've learned a lot after sago and if anyone can help save these four men, missing, the folks working around the mine. we'll get an update, from mont coal, west virginia, 30 miles south of charleton in minutes. x; [ le announcer ] as long as we're winding up our doing dials,
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martha: i have a good story now, folks. he earned a purple heart during world war ii. he was aboard the ss leopoldville when it was attacked christmas eve and that night 800 troops were lost and all these years later, war hero
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jack slotnick looked at himself in the mirror, and said, quote, you are a dum-dum for not having a college degree and at 84 decided to hit the books and he's at lynn university in boca raton, florida and i understand you missed a test today to be with us. what class was that in. >> it was in scientific literature, and, fortunately, i'm a minus and i'll take it later today, so... martha: good for you and you are doing well in all of your classes, as far as i understand, right. >> fairly well. history is my best subject, because as i explained to my professor, dr. pickering, with your teaching, i have lived through, and it makes it much easier. martha: you have lived through quite a bit of history, sir. and, your country, your nation is very proud of you and so glad that you are with us and doing this, and what made you decide to go back to school? i'm sure you are having a nice
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life there in florida, hoping enjoying your children and grandchildren. why go back to school, at this point. >> i decided it was time to get into the 21st century. and learn how to use a computer. and, blackberry, and i realized that i had let the whole electronic style of life escape me. so, i made a decision, and, again, the computer for the moment, is my enemy, but, this year i'll taking a computer course -- computer courses and i will catch up. martha: i have no doubt you will tackle it and you have done much more difficult things in your life, than learn how to use a computer and my guess is you will be fine with that and you will get a psychology degree and what do you plan to do with that degree? >> i plan to go stay and get my master's degree and then, move in and do volunteer work, especially, at the veterans
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level. there is a tremendous shortage of qualified people, to cater to veterans. and, unless you have been a soldier, yourself, you sort of cannot make sense out of their problems. we have a very, very high suicide rate unfortunately, of returning veterans. now in the war i was in, world war ii, we never faced that situation. and, it seems to be different than this present conflict. martha: it is so good of you to reach out, to veterans because, you are right, you and others like you, are the only ones who really know what they go through, when they come back, and, you are a credit to your country, sir, around thank you so much for your service and wish you luck and i know your kids are hoping that you will get at least a 3.5 average, right? they are pretty tough on you. >> i have to! i have to! martha: congratulations to you,
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and, a pleasure to talk with you, thanks to your professor for letting you take the test later today. good luck on it. >> i will. thank you. martha: thank you, jack, all the best to you. bill: a charmer, huh? and we should caution him about the blackberry, that is an addiction you probably don't want! good luck. from west virginia, 25 dead, four more missing in the worst mine tragedy we've seen in the country in more than two decades and we are waiting on details of what happened and the hope for those still missing and more reaction from those affected in the mountain state of west virginia. >> you know... your heart goes out to our coal miners and what they go through each and every day and when you hear of a possible disaster, possible tragedy, you just want to console the families and join them in prayer, and ask for god's blessing.
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martha: fast-food is coming off the menu for our troops in afghanistan, apparently. burger king, pizza hut, tgi fridays, all on the chopping block at the u.s. military bases in the war zone. soldiers typically gather at the so-called board walk area of kandahar airfield, scarfing down comfy food, but the military wants to remind soldiers they're at war. i don't think they need too much reminding of that, you would think, but apparently they've decided for this reason, no more. bill: the mres are delish
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us, chicken cavatelli, i'm telling you. martha: i'll eat anything. after a little while, i bet you look forward to the chicken cavatelli. bill: the story book lineup of cinderela, also known as the butler bull dogs came oh so close last night. roll this. oh! bill: that's the bull dogs losing, but congratulations to duke and the fourth national title for duke. martha: i always root for the jawnder dog. bill: the karma of the world, when butler has 5000 students, 6 miles from the final four. martha: it was an amazing tournament. biappening now", right now.